Camping or Glamping? The Choice is Yours at some of our Favourite Holiday Spots

From campsites in the outback that take you to another planet, to beachside vistas, white sandy beaches and national parks – Australia has some of the most spectacular places around the globe to pitch a tent.

Whether you choose to camp or glamp, Easter is an ideal opportunity to pack up the family and pets, put some kilometres on the clock and head out of town. We’ve put together a few suggestions for our favourite places to camp, what to do when you get there and of course… where to eat.

Camping or Glamping? The Choice is Yours at some of our Favourite Holiday Spots

Source: North Star Holiday Resort.

Pitch a Tent in New South Wales:

Multi-award winning North Star Holiday Resort in Hastings Point, less than 30 minutes’ drive south of Gold Coast Airport, offers a choice of accommodation options such as luxurious poolside villas, family cabins, caravan and campsites. There are tennis courts, a games room, playground, kids’ club and water park all designed to keep the younger ones entertained, while parents relax in the leisure centre with massages and beauty treatments, or unwind in the spa.

For a bite to eat, head to onsite licensed café Ripples and chill out in the coastal vibe of its light, bright interior and surf-themed artwork, before ordering from a menu incorporating the essence of the Northern River’s abundant farmlands and beachside location. Try Mexican fish soft tacos, housemade potato gnocchi, Thai beef salad and a range of burgers, including pulled pork, Wagyu beef and grilled chicken; while dinner guests may opt for slow-cooked pork short rib, or grilled lamb cutlets and Greek salad.

No trip to this part of the country at Easter is complete without rocking out at the Byron Bay Bluesfest from Thursday, April 18 to Monday, April 22. Headlining the 30th anniversary of this iconic music event are Iggy Pop, Jack Johnson, Norah Jones, Ben Harper, Paul Kelly, Hozier, Kasey Chambers and Tash Sultana – making this a weekend not to be missed.

Camping Fun in Western Australia:

Ideally suited for those wanting to experience ecotourism at its best, Glenbrook Country Retreat on Darch Road in Margaret River boasts more than 180 acres of natural bushland, extensive walking and biking trails, along with birdwatching. With the township only 5 km away, Glenbrook offers a sense of privacy and space, with campers free to choose their own site, while kitchen facilities include a gas barbeque, fridge and microwave oven.

Take time to visit nearby Peacetree Estate boutique, a family-run winery on Tom Cullity Drive in Wilyabrup, for hand-picked and pressed wines produced using organic practices. Specialising in Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Tempranillo and Pineau, Peacetree takes its name from olive trees planted at the same time as the first vines.

Open daily, partake in a personalised and intimate wine tasting experience from the cellar door, perhaps savouring a drop of 2011 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon with typical Margaret River characters of cassis, cherry, chocolate and mint, with a soft and fruity palate.

If in Wilyabrup over Easter, pop into Caves Road Collective Home of Black Brewing Co on Saturday, April 20 for an afternoon of live music, free kids’ meals and $10 beer deals. Visitors and campers can say cheers to good times at this combined restaurant, brewery, distillery and winery, in rustic surrounds of wooden ceilings and doors, while a large stone fireplace adds a cosy vibe for chillier months. Chow down on the likes of fried squid and pepper berry aioli, fish tacos with guacamole and jalapeno lime sauce, or tempura prawns; washed down with a beer tasting paddle or glass of red.

Camping or Glamping? The Choice is Yours at some of our Favourite Holiday Spots

Northern Territory Camping:

When travelling between Darwin and Alice Springs along the Stuart Highway via Tennant Creek, the best place to stop on the road is Threeways Roadhouse & Tourist Park. Spacious, shady grassed sites for caravans and campers are available as well as units with private ensuites and verandahs, not to mention quiet motel style accommodation with all the facilities needed to make your stay a relaxing one. After a dip in the pool, a bar and dining room await guests looking for an outback Australian meal along with cold beverages and tasty treats.

The family-run establishment offers friendly and helpful service to ensure a comfortable stay, ideal for a few days to visit nearby attractions like Mary Ann Dam, or the Devil’s Pebbles.

 

Spread a swag out under the stars at a remote bush campsite, or get close to nature but keep a few comforts at hand at Kakadu National Park’s managed campgrounds, where toilets, showers, picnic tables and fire pits add to the outdoor experience. There’s no need to book ahead at these campgrounds as they operate on a first-come, first served basis and an onsite manager will collect your camping fees.

Connect with the country and enjoy the landscape at the special times of dusk and dawn, as you visit rock art sites, ancient escarpments and swim in tropical waterholes, in this 20,000 square  kilometre World Heritage-listed natural wonderland.

 

When passing through Darwin on your way to the campground, stop into Hotel Darwin on Mitchell Street for a refreshing beverage and hearty meal, while escaping the NT heat. Remaining an ever-popular Darwin city icon, this watering hole offers up a history dating back to 1940 and is situated directly across from Parliament House, close to the coastline.

With more than 10 icy beer labels on tap, as well as a wide selection of wine by the glass, grab a kangaroo pie and chips, or marinated croc ribs with Davidson chilli plum glaze.

Let’s Camp Queensland:

Widely known as one of the best sites in Queensland for observing humpback whales during the July to November migration season, Hervey Bay is also a hub for tours to nearby Fraser Island, while a waterfront esplanade links the city’s marina to great swimming beaches.

Surrounded on three sides by park reserve and lakes, Hervey Bay Caravan Park presents a serene and attractive atmosphere for those wanting to chill out Queensland-style, just a 5-10 minute walk to the Botanic Gardens and Urangan Central shopping mall. A saltwater pool, children’s wading pool and large communal barbeque area make this a family and pet-friendly campground, where all tourist activities can be booked through the park office.

While in Hervey Bay, take the family for a day out on the water with Blue Sky Boat Hire based on Buccaneer Drive. Exploring the bay’s beauty at an affordable price is easy with three vessels available for daily hire for sightseeing or fishing adventures, without the hassle of trailer reversing, cleaning and refuelling.

This ‘walk on, walk off’ approach leaves plenty of time to enjoy gorgeous coastal scenery or take in the unique reef and marine life that abounds in this part of the state. Keen fishermen are catered for with rods, hand reels, tackle and an esky included, only leaving the bait and ice up to the guest and hopefully, a big catch is the result!

After a day out on the water, hunger pangs are sure to attack - why not head to EAT at Dan & Steph’s on The Esplanade for a bite from the all-day menu? Winners of My Kitchen Rules in 2013, Dan and Steph dish up goodies such as pulled pork and bean burritos, housemade gnocchi with mushroom, bacon and cream sauce and coconut prawn tacos, from chilled-out surrounds indoors; or enjoy breathtaking alfresco water views while sipping a drink of choice.Camping or Glamping? The Choice is Yours at some of our Favourite Holiday Spots

South Australian Campgrounds:

Stunning scenery all-year round, internationally acclaimed wines and fresh produce, while for the kids wide open spaces to explore, South Australia’s Clare Valley is just 90 minutes from Adelaide. Discovery Parks – Clare on Horrocks Highway is at the gateway to the Eyre Peninsula and SA outback and offers a well-equipped camp kitchen, playground, bouncing pillow, swimming pool and barbeque.

Discover the 35 km Riesling Trail, named after the region’s famed grape varietal, as you walk, ride or run past cellar doors, scenic landscapes, country vistas and rolling hills. At nearby Mintaro, try your hand at giant chess or get lost in the Mintaro Maze – eat, drink and be merry, then do it all again tomorrow.

When thirst takes hold, drop by Taylors Wines on Winery Road in Auburn. Three generations have crafted great Australian wines in the Clare Valley at this family-run vineyard, which capture the essence of each grape variety, such as the Jaraman Chardonnay 2017 or Taylor Made Malbec 2017.

Taylors has been recognised as the world’s number one winery by the World Association of Wine Writers and Journalists in the 2017 ranking of wine and spirits; stop in at the cellar door or relax in the garden with a glass of wine and cheese platter, before embarking on an educational tasting experience and tour.

After all this exploring, stomachs must be grumbling… time for a cold beer and meal from a menu of classic pub dishes at The Rising Sun Hotel on Main North Road in Auburn. Since opening in the late 1800s, this hotel has been a staple on the Clare Valley dining scene, with dark carpeted flooring, wooden fittings and wide arched doorways preserving the style of this rich heritage venue.

Perhaps share a ploughman’s platter with a selection of cold meats, smoked cheddar cheese, housemade chicken, pork and pistachios, terrine, beetroot relish, pickled vegetables, marinated olives and warm ciabatta; or the rib and wing combo, with a side of mac and cheese, baked potato and sour cream.

Camping or Glamping? The Choice is Yours at some of our Favourite Holiday Spots

Camping Victorian-style:

Stunning foreshore camping with amazing sites offering views of Port Phillip Bay await visitors at Tyrone Foreshore Campground, on the southern tip of the Mornington Peninsula. This compact campground, situated only 1 km from the township of Rye, is secluded and has easy beach access, hot showers, laundry and playground.

Open from December until the end of April, Tyrone campground is close to many of the peninsula’s popular tourist attractions, including surf beaches, golf courses, wineries and breweries, horse riding trails, restaurants, cafes and shops. Make sure to walk by the heritage listed boat sheds, originally built in the 1950s and now used for day-time recreation and storage, which provide a distinctive and colourful feature on the foreshore.

Immerse yourself in a world away from the everyday at Peninsula Hot Springs on Springs Lane in Fingal. A lush oasis of pools, lakes and sprawling gardens make up Victoria’s only natural hot spring, where mineral-rich thermal waters from deep underground feed the many pools and private baths. There are more than 40 indoor and outdoor bathing experiences to enjoy, including a waterfall pool, reflexology walking pool, massaging thermal showers, Turkish steam bath, saunas and hand-carved stone baths; as well as spa and massage treatments, a café and kiosk.

Whether visiting alone or taking family and friends after a day hiking and swimming on the peninsula, this is a relaxing and rejuvenating experience quite unlike any other.

All that activity means bodies need refuelling – time to unwind and recharge at The Rye Hotel on Point Nepean Road. Located just minutes away from the Rye foreshore, this lovingly refurbished venue offers fabulous views of Port Phillip Bay in casual, relaxed surroundings; chill out over a drink at buzzing and lively Main Sail Bar or take to the spacious family-friendly bistro to browse a menu of contemporary pub fare.

Grab a plate of lemon pepper calamari with aioli and salad, or beer battered fish and chips; while the carnivores will salivate over Texas pork ribs in a sticky, smoky chipotle glaze with chips and salad.Camping or Glamping? The Choice is Yours at some of our Favourite Holiday Spots

Tasmanian Tent Escapes:

An ideal location to explore world-renowned Freycinet National Park and Wineglass Bay, BIG4 Iluka camping ground on Reserve Road in Coles Bay nestles under the Hazard Mountain Range, a short two-minute walk from stunning pristine beaches, where you can enjoy awesome sunsets.

Situated on 10 acres of natural bushland, the park is a bird watcher’s paradise, combining breath-taking scenery with scenic walks, fishing, golfing and a selection of accommodation options, such as holiday units, cabins and powered caravan, motorhome and tent sites.

A must visit and taste in the area is Kate’s Berry Farm on Addison Street in Swansea, well known for its Just Desserts Café, handcrafted chocolate and products, along with cool climate berries, picked at the peak of their ripeness.

Offering spectacular views across Great Oyster Bay to Freycinet National Park, guests can sample melt-in-the-mouth freshly baked scones, accompanied by Kate’s own jams and freshly whipped cream; or perhaps hot and crispy Belgium waffles with compote and ice cream. Don’t forget to grab one of Kate’s sauces, jellies, country produce or dessert wines to take home as a keepsake from your camping holiday.

For a relaxing spot to enjoy coffee and café fare while the kids play at nearby Kids Paradise, take to Tailrace Café on Waterfront Drive in Riverside. Situated within the Tailrace Centre, campers can soak up panoramic views from the windows while marvelling at sweet delights that tempt from the cake cabinet.

Much of what goes into the menu is grown on site - start the day on the outdoor deck with a bacon and egg toastie with cheddar cheese and Grandpa’s housemade relish, while the little ones tuck into soft boiled eggs with wholemeal bread soldiers. Those dropping by later in the day can share BBQ chicken and bacon pizza, with Spanish onion, pineapple, mushroom and mozzarella cheese.Camping or Glamping? The Choice is Yours at some of our Favourite Holiday Spots

ACT Camping Hot Spots:

Situated near the former space tracking station and well suited for larger groups and families, Honeysuckle Campground on Apollo Road in Tennent is close to Booroomba Rocks and the Australian Alps Walking Track. In 1969, 600 million people watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon and utter his famous words, all transmitted from Honeysuckle’s huge dish-shaped tracking antenna, which towered over the site.

These days, remnants of the station still exist, and educational signage tells the story of the glory days of the Apollo missions. This campground does not provide rubbish bins, so guests must take all their rubbish home with them; there are also composting toilets, wood fire barbeque pits and covered sheltered areas for communal get-togethers.

Just down the road in Tharwa resides The Barracks Espresso Bar & Eating House, set within a working rural property and encompassing the historic Lanyon Homestead and rustic outbuildings. After exploring the space station remnants, call in for scones and a cup of tea in picturesque garden surrounds or choose from a modern, yet colonial inspired menu to satisfy any traveller’s hunger.

Perhaps start with country-style pumpkin soup with brandy sour cream, before mains like turkey breast roulade with pistachio, provolone and cranberry glaze; or beef sirloin with mustard and thyme jus.

We’ve just scratched the surface of the hundreds of campgrounds around this land…click here to find more.